Sunday, July 12, 2015

Barbie Moonlight Halloween 2015 Doll Review

I almost called this post "Halloween in July", but decided to go for a more straight forward title.

 On Friday I bought the newly released 2015 Halloween Barbie doll off of Amazon. Thanks to Amazon Prime, she arrived in two days, on a Sunday (that Sunday delivery is so cool and so weird). I'll be doing a review of her and her unboxing here on the blog. Not sure if that's going to be of any interest to anyone, but if they prove to be popular I'd be willing to continue for the few new dolls I do buy throughout the year.

Anyway, the play line 2015 Halloween doll is called "Moonlight Halloween". I paid 11.99 for her before tax on Amazon with free prime shipping. Her listing can be found here. I'm sure in time she'll be found in regular retail stores once we get closer to Halloween.

Her box is pretty traditional. She comes in a mostly cardboard box with a clear plastic window so you can see in. This reminds me of the boxes of my childhood compared to the clear plastic boxes with cardboard backers I've been seeing lately. However with this box, the cardboard is a lot flimsier. This feels more like.... knock off Barbie quality. It's just so thin and easily bent. On the front is the image of a white cat with a witch's hat on standing on a ramshackle wooden fence. Oddly enough the fence appears to be put together using screws. Looking at the fence construction (because you really need to know these details) it looks like the boards are inset compared to a traditional fence. How odd that the fence builder put all that effort into making a decent quality fence, but used sub-par boards. Hopefully that isn't an allegory for anything.

The left side of the box features the cat again in closeup. She is now sitting on the
pointed tops of the fence posts. However the stock art was just stuck on top of the fence art so she's just floating on it. There's no way a cat could sit like that on a fence like that. Behind her there is a sparking walkway leading up to a slightly creepy Addam's Family style house. (Don't follow the sparkles Barbie, it's a trap!) The despite it's cliche scary architecture the house looks like it's been kept in good shape. I did just notice that it doesn't have a front door. What kind of  house doesn't have a door? There seems to be a pink mist emanating from the door. Behind the house there's a full moon with some heavily stylized bats flying around. On the right side of the box there's another image of the fence post. I'm not sure if this is a repeat of the one on the other side. The sparking pathway, the house, the moon, and the bats images are all repeated on this side of the box. There's also a large pink vertical Barbie logo covering up most of the pathway. In case you didn't know who this doll was.

On the back of the box we are treated to a maze activity. We are told to help "Blissa" (the white cat apparently) find the house and so she can trick or treat. Interestingly Blissa's name is typed out with one cursive s and one non-cursive s. The majority of images on the back are repeated from elsewhere on the box. We have the same image of the cat from the front, the same image of the house from the sides, the same moon, the same Barbie logo, and the same bats just arranged differently. We now have a pink cobblestone walkway maze and the house now has a spooky tree behind it. The tree is actually bigger than the house! There's also some some tomb stones here and there among the maze. These people's walkways is through a cemetery?!? I don't know about you but no candy is worth traipsing through a cemetery in my opinion. (Unless it's peanut butter cups, then we'll talk). The maze is super easy. I know it's for kids, but there's only 4 pathways and two of them lead to the house, you literally have a 50 percent chance of getting it right by just guessing the way to go.

The box is easy to open. Two pieces of tape on top and a cardboard tab is all
that was in the way of me getting her out of the box. She comes attached to a cardboard liner. The liner once again makes use of the house, pathway, moon, and bats images. The bottom of my liner came pretty warped. It's really not a big deal since it's going to be tossed. The doll is attached to the liner at the head (three plastic tags), hair (by a clear elastic), upper right arm, waist, and one foot (clear plastic t straps). Using scissors she was pretty easy to debox. In good news her dress wasn't stapled down anywhere using those terrible small plastic tags. I hate those and how they damage the clothes no matter how careful you are removing them.

The Barbie doll in this set is pretty basic. She uses the new Barbie face mold and has light blue eyes
and medium pink lips. She has some of the worst blush I've ever seen on a doll. It's faint but it looks like someone just took the brush and plopped it on her cheeks. It's almost like how clowns do their makeup. I'd rather she didn't have any blush than these odd shiny circles the color of watered down blood on her cheeks. Not sure why they even bothered. She was made in Indonesia so I'll bet she has glue in her head, but her head isn't actually as stiff as some other dolls I have gotten. Her hair is straight with a side part. It's mostly blonde with a few purple streaks. Mine came with a few broken strands right out of the box. Her hair is really choppy. The hair in the back from the top of her head is really short, like if I hadn't removed her from the box myself I would have assumed some child had cut it. The majority of her hair reaches above the small of her back, but the shorter parts just reach above the back of her neck. I mean it's in the back so you really can't see it, but this is not very playable hair. If you look at the pictures you can see that my doll has her head pointed upwards. This is permanent. I can't get the doll to look down. I took of her head and she has the solid neck knob Mattel gives their cheaper dolls. I guess Mattel doesn't want Barbie to look any direction other than up. In my opinion that really limits playability.

Barbie's body is very limited. She has the belly button torso with
molded on underwear and has the modern palm to rear arms that just move back and forth. Her legs are hard plastic (do they even make rubber legs any more?) and are on the ball joint at the hips so that they can't move that far apart. The legs are very tight and hard to move. The legs on mine are prone to have the legs crossed with the right leg behind the left leg. You can move the doll's legs out of this position, but very quickly it reverts itself back to it. My doll also came with a gouge to her torso on her left side, near her rib cage. This happened at the factory since the dress and box were both undamaged. This doll reminds me a lot of the beach dolls I bought last year, except that the beach dolls had arms that could pivot. How come a 5 dollar doll has better articulation than a 12 dollar doll?

For Halloween this year Barbie has a cat theme going on. I'm not saying
she's a cat because despite her cat ear headband, her outfit isn't really a cat costume. Made from a shiny synthetic fabric her dress features a sweetheart bodice with pleated tulle shoulder straps. It has a faux fake corset in black with a fake ribbon tie front. The purple fabric that make up the bodice and the skirt has an images of black cats, black cat heads, and black sparkles. I love the cat, it reminds me of Gigi from "Kiki's Delivery Service". The dress closes in the back with Velcro. In typical Mattel fashion only the front is made from the nice fabrics, the back is just plain purple fabric. At least it seems to be the same fabric as the purple in the front, just without the pattern printed on. This dress is so cute, it's the main reason why I bought this doll in the first place. Mine does have a few sewing errors (the worst being the top point of the corset is off center), but I am willing to overlook them. I like how the dress has enough whimsy to be cute, but not so cute it gets too juvenile.






The outfit has three accessories that the doll comes wearing; the headband, the necklace, and the shoes. The headband is adorable. Made of matte black plastic it has little cat ears on it. The band on it is surprisingly thick, but I guess they had to do that to accommodate the cat ears since
they themselves are rather thick. At least like that you know they'll be a little sturdier. The cat ears do fit older dolls with smaller heads, it will just be a little loose on them. It does have a little bit of give to it, so it should also fit dolls with larger heads. I would just be careful about leaving it on them too long in case it warps the plastic. I will say that my pair came with little bit of excess plastic on them on the inside that wasn't trimmed off at the factory and it was sharp. Not sharp enough to cut you, but if you touched it it definitely hurt. I was able to easily trim it off with an Exacto knife, but anyone reading this review is getting this doll for their kids you might want to check the headband first for any issues. Even if you don't have an Exacto knife a nail file would at least work to dull the sharp part. The doll's necklace is also molded in same black plastic. It features a design of two strands of pearls with jewels randomly placed on it with two hanging pieces from the largest jewel. It kind of looks like it's dripping. It has no painted details. It feels really familiar to me so I think I've seen it before on another doll, perhaps in silver? I could be wrong it just feels like I've seen it before. Her shoes are made out of the same type of plastic. They are high heeled, opened toed, slightly platformed, gladiator style shoes. They feature molded in studs on the strap and what appears to be a zipper in the front. They also have no painted details. They have a slit down the back so it's easier to put them on and take them off the doll.   

Other than what she's wearing Barbie came with one accessory, a cardboard broom. Even though
she's clearly a cat, for some reason this doll is getting labeled as a witch. Even the product description refers to her as a witch and specifically mentions her witch's hat, even though there is no hat only the cat ears. The broom is rather disappointing. It's made out of a thicker cardboard than the box, but mine already came bent on the end and in the center straight out of the box. It has a pink handle and pink sparkles on the bristles. It's really nothing special and really should have been omitted. Even if it had come not broken it's not going to stand up to any real play. I am slightly impressed with how tall it is, but it's actually too tall for the doll. It's way too tall for any real broom (without her shoes on it reaches the same height as the doll's eyes) and it's way too long for her when she's riding it. And with the super pink handle it looks like the doll is riding on a pink light saber instead of a broom. This accessory is really a waste of cardboard.

So that's all that came with the Barbie Moonlight Halloween doll. This doll is a bit of a mixed bag in my opinion. I am impressed with her clothes and plastic accessories. The dress is really cute and pretty decently made. It's a nice blend of cute and sassy but still child friendly. It's been a while since I found a Barbie doll that I had to have the dress from, usually I just steal their shoes. I am also impressed by her cat ears. Even though they are cat ears I can see them being fun for other outfits, pretending a doll is an animal or just an accessory for another outfit. The doll itself is where my disappointment lies. Her static body and chopped up hair really doesn't lend itself to getting played with. She's hardly going to be a kid's favorite doll since she's so limited as to what she can do. Yes she does have purple streaks in her hair but that's all she's got going for her. For not much more you could get the Director Barbie and that doll comes with arms that pivot at the shoulders, articulated knees and ankles, a full outfit, sunglasses, and two pairs of shoes. And her hair won't be as hacked up. I'd say that I'd be more comfortable paying 9.99 for this doll, mainly because I love the dress. However I'd much rather have Mattel sold just the outfit and didn't bother with the doll. But that's not how things goes, is it?

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for such a detailed review of this doll. When I saw her on Amazon today, I was considering getting her, but I knew I'd only get her for her outfit and I decided against it. I felt the pattern was just on the front, and thanks to you, I see I was right. I was going to buy the bunny dress from last year, but on seeing how Mattel only does front patterns, and seeing that dress was like that, I decided against it. Mattel makes such cute clothes, it's a shame the pattern doesn't go all the way around. I know, saves on money for them, but still, I'm sure we don't see that money saved in the price. LOL! But she is a pretty girl and I can't wait to see who gets her outfit. Funny enough, I got last year's Halloween doll, and she got a cardboard broom too. LOL! I took pictures and never posted about her. You've inspired me to do so. I'll try getting that up in the next week and will be sure to give your post a nod so people can check out this year's doll. Oh, and yes to more box openings. I have several myself I need to do. It seems people like them, well, I know I do at least. :-)

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  2. I just acquired one of these dolls; my local Kroger had a display of them for $9.99 and I couldn't resist her cute dress and cat ears!

    Mine seems to have the same issues as yours; I was disappointed by the choppy hair (perming it so it looks nicer) and the fact that the dress is only one-sided. Also...fresh out of the box, mine seemed to have a VERY strong "chemical" smell that I found to be unpleasant. She's been out of the box for about half an hour and the smell seems to have dissipated, but it stuck to my hands hands until I washed them. To be fair, I haven't bought a Barbie doll in a very long time (I've mostly been collecting Monster High and Disney Princesses), so maybe that's normal for Barbies these days? You didn't mention it in your review, so maybe the problem is on my end...

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